When I first happened upon the Peace, Love and Misunderstanding trailer, I was really excited. I couldn’t wait to watch it. When I saw it was on Netflix months after seeing the trailer, of course I watched it right away. I really liked the message it sent about love and letting things go and living your life without the burden of the past to hold you back from finding yourself, but I was really disappointed in the subplots.
I hate how movies like this are trying to get a profound message across to its viewers, yet completely bombard that by introducing love interests just to sell the movie. Having a love interest is all fine and good, but when the character has to give up him or herself and just settle so they can end up with someone at the end, because god-forbid a movie ends without everyone being paired off, I loose respect for the whole movie.
Obviously, these are movies and don’t really compare to real life, however, when young minds watch these seemingly motivational movies and see a young woman settle for someone she doesn’t believe in, what once was an unreal adaptation of reality becomes the seed to unhealthy relationships among adolescents and on into adulthood.
I’m not saying this movie alone has tarnished the young lives of today, but film and entertainment as a collective definitely play a huge role in the choices we make as individuals. Let me point out some examples:
1. The daughter has every right to be upset at her mother for sleeping with another man before she is even divorced because that upsets the daughter’s morals. Then they play it off as being okay just because the father may have been a not-so-great guy. When you are a parent, you have to think about what you are feeding to your children. Parents all too often think their actions aren’t picked up by their teens or even young children, but kids are way more perceptive than parents think. When a young child sees an adult, and more importantly, their parent, go against what the child has been taught, that child will become confused, one, and two, now think that it is okay to throw all morals out the window and act rashly just because they are upset, for example. Parents just need to be role models first is what I’m basically saying.
2. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say I would be furious if some guy I’ve known for one day tried smacking lips with me on stage, in front of a whole town. That kind of thing is not romantic. It’s manipulative and invasive. This kind of routes back to Disney movies, when the “strong” female lead marries the man she met yesterday after he saves her life… That doesn’t happen and shouldn’t happen. This guy doesn’t know anything about me and my life and what I am willing or not willing to do at this point in my life. That is a very tough position to put in when you are literally in front of everyone, including your impressionable kids, and you are forced to make a split second decision whether or not you want to just go with the flow and not mark that moment as the most embarrassing moment of your life, or be true to yourself and say, “no, this is so not appropriate and how dare you put me on the spot like this.” I’ve seen many articles depicting the contrast between how movies portray romance and the reality of what is acceptable and what is really not.
3. This one probably hit me the hardest: how do you just get over the fact that someone is everything you are against? Despite the fact that he butchers animals, no matter how grass fed and organic they are, will shoot a deer without hesitation, and smokes, she still ended up with him. How can you be with someone who’s breath smells and tastes like cigarettes every time you kiss them, who’s clothes constantly smell like smoke, or who’s first thought the second after you are deeply intimate with each other is to smoke a cigaret because being with you isn’t enough? You can’t. It really bothered me that after all these red flags and her basically laying out her stipulations for the kind of person she would date, she lowered her standards for this guy. Yes, I know it’s just a movie, but what is that telling young girls? It’s okay to discount everything you feel is important just so you don’t have to be alone? NO!
This review may have been more on the serious life lessons side, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in my passionate attempt to clear the line between harmless entertainment and subliminal messaging.
This isn’t to deter anyone else from watching it. I love Jane Fonda and the majority of the movie was very funny and I think you should make your own assumptions about it.